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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Previous SNOWY OWL and GYRFALCON double-bills on the ISLES OF SCILLY

LGRE's comment that with the occurrence of Snowy Owl & Gyr Falcon on St Martins two days ago that “incidentally the first time a Gyrfalcon and Snowy Owl have graced the same island together” is not quite true.

In 1964 a Gyr was on Tresco from 6-Nov through to 5-Jan 1965. At the same time the Snowy Owl which had originally frequented St Agnes from 10-Oct 1964 had taken up residence at Carn Near, Tresco and was last seen there on 10-Mar 1965.

Also in 1972 a Gyr was on Bryher on 14-Apr, then seen flying to Tresco and was seen on 6-May on St Mary’s and on the 8-May on St Martins. With that year a Snowy Owl also being on Scilly from 8-Mar to 27-Apr and being seen on nearly all islands it is highly likely that these two birds were on one island at the same time.

Regards, Nigel Hudson (co-author Essential Guide to Birds of the Isles of Scilly)